The Singapore Grand Prix has confirmed next year’s race will use a shorter track layout due to development work in the final sector of the city circuit.
The development of that space will begin in March next year and is expected to be completed by the end of 2026. Singapore’s current Formula 1 contract running for two years beyond that.
Cutting the four corners from the track means the Bay Grandstand will also be removed. The total number of corners on the Marina Bay street circuit will fall from 22 to 19 and the track length cut by 137 metres to 4.928km. The lap count will therefore be increased from 61 laps to 63, in order to ensure the race distance is reached.
Based on simulations using digital versions of 2020 F1 cars, which never actually raced in Singapore, the new track layout could result in 1’27.7 lap times in qualifying and 1’30.3 laps in race conditions. The pole laps in 2018 and ’19, with similar cars, were both 1’36, meaning the lap is now around eight seconds shorter.
The new technical rules introduced this year resulted in slower cars, and this year’s Singapore Grand Prix weekend was hit by rain, making it harder for a direct comparison to be made in lap time gain.
Images issued by the architects working on the new NS Square indicate they intend to bring the cars past the new grandstand once it is built. However the completion date has already been pushed back by a year due to the pandemic and the race promoters have not indicated when they expect this to happen.
This will be sixth change to the track since it was first raced on in 2008. The track was shortened slightly by a corner alteration for its second race, while the first major change followed in 2013 when the Singapore Sling chicane was removed. The bridge area that follows was then changed in 2015, then turns 16 and 17 were reprofiled for 2018.
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